Musical Scrapbook: 2021

Sometimes when I share writing from old newsletters or other publications, I make the date in the WordPress CMS match the original publication date, so as to appropriately place it chronologically if someone goes on a deep-dive into my stuff.

I could have done that for this…made the date January 1, 2021 or something. But it didn’t seem in the spirit of this project. I scrapbook songs to help me remember and process my year, not paint a false and rosy picture of it. So this is the real date, no typos: I’m publishing my 2021 scrapbook here on January 4, 2023.

2021 was such a long and exhausting year, and I was in such a crumb-bum low place in January 2022, that I couldn’t even give myself the simple pleasure of tidying up and publishing a playlist. And you know, 2022 was an even worse year for me, at least on paper. But I’m tired of being a crumb-bum! And I’m trying to do more nice things that make me happy, like tidying and publishing playlists. So here we are. This proved an interesting time capsule, and I’m glad I made it.

Keeping it simple.

Background: I keep a “musical scrapbook” for each calendar year. Songs scavenged from the ambience, if you will; stuff I hear on the radio, interesting new tracks in my algorithmic playlists, old favorites that land in a new or particularly resonant way, songs from TV shows or movies I’m into at the time, songs that stood out from concerts I attended, that sort of thing. I don’t do any intentional seeking out of music for these scrapbooks. At the end of the year I often re-discover songs I don’t even remember having heard, which gives me further opportunities to reflect.

I do a bit of light sequencing before sharing — moving a few songs around for better flow as a playlist — but I try to keep that minimal so the list remains roughly chronological.

You can stream it as a YouTube video playlist up above, or add it on Apple Music or Spotify. Perhaps you’ll find something in here to add to your own 2023 scrapbook. If you’re looking more more inspiration, check out my 2020, 2019, and 2018 musical scrapbooks.

A Long DecemberCounting CrowsRecovering the Satellites
Mister Jung StuffedMan ManRabbit Habits
FreeSylvan EssoFree Love
EstrangedThe Ting TingsThe Black Light
Thousand OaksClap Your Hands Say YeahNew Fragility
Gold Sky (feat. Kurt Vile)The AvalanchesWe Will Always Love You
Crash at Lake PlaceboGuided By VoicesStyles We Paid For
People Like UsMatt BomerPeople Like Us (feat. Alan Mingo Jr.) [From Doom Patrol] [Season 1] – Single
dragon eyesAdrianne Lenkersongs
Rent is Due (feat. Gary V)Erik BloodRent is Due (feat. Gary V) – Single
We’re in ItTyphoonSympathetic Magic
Big Red MachineAaron Dessner & Justin VernonDark Was the Night
Wednesday BabyMidnight SisterWednesday Baby – Single
The King of Carrot Flowers. Pt. 1Death Cab for CutieThe Georgia EP
The Saint of Lost CausesSteve EarleJ.T.
I Ain’t Ever SatisfiedSteve Earle & The DukesExit 0
FireWaxahatcheeSaint Cloud
The SingBill CallahanDream River
Dancing ChooseTV on the RadioDear Science (Bonus Track Version)
CannonballTune-YardsCannonball – Single
Los AngelesFrank BlackFrank Black
ШумGo_AШум – Single
10 YearsDaði Freyr10 Years – Single
Bang Bang Bangity BangHow I Met Your Mother CastHow I Met Your Music (Original Songs from the Hit Series “How I Met Your Mother”)
Three White HorsesAndrew BirdHands of Glory
Black DogArlo ParksBlack Dog – Single
Grand CanyonBrass AgainstGrand Canyon – Single
We Are BetweenModest MouseThe Golden Casket
September SongWillie NelsonStardust
SodiumIDLESSodium – Single
FlameSebadohThe Sebadoh
Running Up That HillCar Seat HeadrestMADLO: Influences – EP
Ahead By A CenturyThe Tragically HipTrouble At The Henhouse
Hot TopicLe TigreThe Punk Singer (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Papa Was a RodeoThe Magnetic Fields69 Love Songs
Sad But TrueJason Isbell and the 400 UnitThe Metallica Blacklist
Naked in the City AgainHot Hot HeatMake Up the Breakdown
Ducking & DodgingParquet CourtsSunbathing Animal / Content Nausea
Box ElderSurfer BloodCovers
Chaise LongueWet LegChaise Longue – Single
817 Oakland AvenueCharlie ParrLast of the Better Days Ahead
ArmisticePhoenixWolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
BurningThe Whitest Boy AliveDreams
Advance CassetteSpoonA Series of Sneaks
Living ZooBuilt to SpillUntethered Moon
Feral CatsProtomartyrNo Passion All Technique
Tokyo SummerMountiesThrash Rock Legacy
Bridge to HawaiiTacocatNVM
Blue AgainWeakened FriendsCommon Blah
Wet DreamWet LegWet Dream – Single
CountryGood MorningBarnyard
NotBig ThiefTwo Hands
More Than LoveHand HabitsFun House
The Ballad of DaykittyLou BarlowEmoh
Almost HomeGary LourisJump for Joy
Cold White ChristmasCasiotone for the Painfully AloneEtiquette
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